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Spotlight: A shared future, a shared view in Davos

Updated: Jan 26,2018 8:00 AM     Xinhua

President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the opening of the 2017 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Jan 17, 2017. Since President Xi Jinping made landmark speeches at the WEF in Davos and at the UN Office at Geneva a year ago, the idea “to build a community with shared future for mankind” has gained wider international recognition for offering China’s solutions to cope with global challenges. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING — As thousands of global elites once again gathered at the World Economic Forum (WEF) held in the Alpine ski resort of Davos, President Xi Jinping’s global vision for a shared future was actively shared among movers and shakers of this year’s meeting.

One year ago, in two keynote speeches in Switzerland, Xi laid out his vision for a shared future that would see the international community work together to address numerous challenges facing mankind, demonstrating his efforts to search for an answer to such big questions as to where mankind is heading.

With this year’s WEF themed creating a shared future in a fractured world, many speakers opened their arms to embrace a world that is experiencing stronger globalization and closer cooperation, echoing China’s proposal for boosting global growth.

HOT TOPIC IN SNOW-CAPPED DAVOS

Liu He, China’s top representative at WEF annual meeting this year, called on the international community to push for an economic globalization that is more open, inclusive, balanced, equitable and beneficial in his speech on Jan 24, echoing Xi’s remarks last year.

“We should follow the general trend, proceed from our respective national conditions and embark on the right pathway of integrating into economic globalization with the right pace,” Xi said in his Davos speech.

China will further integrate with international trade rules and increase market access. It will substantially open up the services and financial sectors and create a more attractive investment environment, Liu said.

“China will keep its door wide open and not close it,” Xi told participants in last year’s meeting.

Xi’s speech is of historical significance, said WEF founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, who had said the speech was “very important” and “brought us some sunshine”.

The year of 2018 should be the year of international collaboration and multilateralism, and let nationalists and protectionists be a “passing phase”, the Swiss president Alain Berset said.

“Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room,” Xi said last year, urging the world to share opportunities in an open global economy.

This year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned that protectionism was resulting in new trade barriers and reduced investment across borders.

Schwab also said that “Our world has become fractured by increasing competition between nations and deep divides within societies. Yet the sheer scale of the challenges our world faces makes concerted, collaborative and integrated action more essential than ever”.

President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland, Jan 18, 2017. Since President Xi Jinping made landmark speeches at the World Economic Forum in Davos and at the UN Office at Geneva a year ago, the idea “to build a community with shared future for mankind” has gained wider international recognition for offering China’s solutions to cope with global challenges.[Photo/Xinhua]

BEACON TO GUIDE DIRECTION

Back in early 2017, the world was at a crossroad: To steer economic globalization or to dither in the face of challenges? To jointly enhance international cooperation or to go separate ways?

Xi’s Switzerland tour was therefore highly expected to give China’s answer towards those questions against the backdrop of an ever-changing international situation and the need to improve global governance.

“China’s proposition is: build a community with a shared future for mankind and achieve shared and win-win development,” Xi said at the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) last year, which won more than 30 rounds of ovation in his 47-minute speech.

Before his speech in Geneva, Xi delivered another keynote in Davos, saying that all countries enjoy the right to development. At the same time, they should view their own interests in a broader context and refrain from pursuing them at the expense of others.

Xi described this community with a shared future as an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the United Nations would join China in promoting world peace and development, and in realizing the goal of a community of shared future for mankind.

The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by Xi in 2013, is a shining example of China’s solutions to global issues with a vision for a better world.

“The Belt and Road Initiative I put forward aims to achieve win-win and shared development,” Xi said in his Geneva speech.

Up till now, China has signed cooperative agreements with more than 80 countries and organizations within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. Chinese businesses have invested over $50 billion and created near-200,000 local jobs in the countries along the Belt and Road.

China has signaled that the well-being of citizens in a country does not contradict with its engagement globally, said International Trade Center executive director Arancha Gonzalez, who participated in the ongoing annual WEF meeting.

COOPERATION TO OFFSET HEADWINDS

“All countries should jointly shape the future of the world, write international rules, manage global affairs and ensure that development outcomes are shared by all,” Xi said at Geneva, a place that has long been witness to the development of China’s diplomacy.

However, even as China forges new bonds among countries and regions, some countries are under-cutting the efforts. With the United States pulling out of such international commitments, such as the Paris Agreement on climate change, China has won more international recognition for its role for being a responsible country.

“We will continue to pursue a win-win strategy of opening-up, share our development opportunities with other countries and welcome them aboard the fast train of China’s development,” Xi said at UN Office at Geneva.

That acknowledgement of China’s contribution was echoed by UNOG Director-general Michael Moller, who said, “We do need drivers, we need great countries like China to help us make our common goals happen.”

According to British scholar Martin Jacques, a professor at Cambridge University, China has provided a new possibility, that is, abandoning the law of the jungle, hegemonism and power politics and the zero-sum game and replacing them with win-win cooperation and co-construction and sharing. This is an unprecedented pioneering work and a great creation to change the world.

In February 2017, Xi’s concept of a community with a shared future for mankind was incorporated into a UN resolution for the first time on the 55th UN Commission for Social Development. The idea was also enshrined by the UN Security Council, the Human Rights Council and the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, turning the Chinese concept into an international consensus.

Philipp Charwath, the chair of the 55th session of the UN Commission for Social Development said building a community with a shared future for mankind is “pretty significant” and “in the long run, it profits us all”.

“I know the shared benefit is much bigger down the line than a quick win for one country,” he added.

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